Monday, 3 December 2007

From Thunder to Breakfast: Gene K Garrison

From Thunder to Breakfast by Gene K Garrison
Published Xlibris Corporation
ISBN 978-14010-03777
Price: £14

Genre: western, biography

WHAT IS YOUR BOOK ABOUT? It's about the life of a Southwestern U.S. man who came from the State of Oklahoma to the State of Arizona with his large family in 1914. Hube Yates was eleven at the time. He was a horseman, firefighter, hunting guide, dude wrangler, but best of all, he was a great storyteller who could see the humour in everything. He had a special way of speaking. If he spoke about snow when it was coming down in tiny flakes he would say, "It's spittin' snow."

The title of the book comes from the expression "from hell to breakfast," which means something is scattered all over the place. Thus the title, "From Thunder To Breakfast." His father was a minister, so he didn't say "hell." He substituted the word "thunder" as in "We were in a thunder of a fix." It's a clean book, about a man you'd love to know. People hung on to his every word, usually with smiles on their faces. Hugh Downs, a former TV commentator, wrote the foreword for us. He said, in part, "When you first meet him you know that he is rugged. You would judge him to be dependable in a pinch, because he looks like he must know the land; and a look in his eye steers you to the notion that he is probably pleasant to be around. You might conclude that he is the strong silent type." He says you would be fifty percent right. "To our considerable good fortune he has no reticence to loquate." In other words, Hube Yates was a charmer.

WHY DID YOU WRITE THE BOOK? Hube Yates was there, and he was in his seventies, and I'm a writer. I was right. He died when he was 77. He was amused about almost anything but that. He talked about the summer long covered wagon trip to Arizona across deserts, renegades, Indians that they weren't sure about, flooding rivers, and horse thieves. He ran away from home for a short time when he was a teenager, and when he married he called it the "best day's work he ever did in his life." He was a hero and received the Carnegie Hero Medal. He was an athlete, and the list goes on. He even went through a practical joke period when he was a grown man. The pranks were creative, to say the least. How could I NOT write about Hube Yates?


HOW DOES YOUR BOOK DIFFER FROM OTHERS THAT ARE SIMILAR? Other Western books are more concerned with shoot-'em-ups, chasing the bad guys, and restoring justice to the frontier. Mine is more gentle, full of humour and humanity. It's a pleasant read. One recent book review began "I met the most interesting man last night." That warmed my heart.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE POD? Actually POD was my third choice. I sent out the manuscript query (not even the actual manuscript) to about six publishers. They turned me down. I wasn't astute enough at the time to realise that six publishers are not many, so I published it myself. It sold out in seven months. Fortunately a very good publishing company in Arizona, Northland Press, published the second edition. After it was out of print for quite a while I heard about POD and decided that the book deserved to live on. I liked the fact that it supposedly will go on forever, and that I wouldn't waste time trying to find the right publisher. I knew that I didn't want to be a publisher again.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF THIS METHOD? I just mentioned the advantages. The disadvantages are doing all the publicity oneself, and forever plugging the book, even though it's worth plugging.

HOW DO YOU MARKET YOUR BOOK? I market mostly online. I belong to,, various groups on, and others. I also belong to a writers group and at times have spoken to clubs, and have been on radio talk shows. Amazon is a big help. It's whatever I think off that might work.

WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU HAD TO OVERCOME? Simply getting the book published. It was my first one. Now I have four on the market, all PODs.

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO OTHERS CONSIDERING POD? If you don't have the time or inclination to go the route of pursuing publishers, and the book is good (get professional opinions), then do it.

WHERE CAN I GET A COPY OF YOUR BOOK In the U.K. I would suggest It can also be ordered through

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Many Faces to Many Places by Judy Azar LeBlanc

Many Faces to Many Places by Judy Azar LeBlanc
Published by Xulon Press
ISBN 1594678669 (paperback) 1600310010 (audio)
Genre: inspirational - Christian fiction
Price: paperback £9.50 ($9.99), audio for £9.97 ($17.95)

What is your book about?
This compelling story unfolds as a three part journey that I believe draws a realistic picture of our own walk through life.The underlying message of Many Faces to Many Places is learning that loving yourself and others is the most important thing that we can do while we are still alive. Many Faces to Many Places illustrates that although life does have its trials and tribulations, there is always something good that comes out of them, and that is what we need to focus on.

Part one reflects upon the “up” stages of life where possibilities and potential are endless; part two reflects upon the “down” stages where the power of choice is explored; and part three represents a time of “reflection,” where wisdom and understanding are realized. The story is written allegorically and is animated in style.

Why did you write the book? I can't really say that I started out with “wanting to write books.” I have always kept a writing journal. Between college and my professional career I had to write what everyone else wanted me to write, and I disliked it so much that after I retired from the work force, I swore that I would never write again! Then one day while I was reviewing my journals, it hit me. I can finally write about my favorite subject - and that is how my books were born. I say books, because Many Faces to Many Places is the fourth book that I have written.
Where did you get your inspiration from? The inspiration came while I was living in Baja, Mexico. I was living in a town with a population of 7000 that is about 800 miles south of the US border. My husband and I were surrounded by miles and miles of desolate beach surrounding the Sea of Cortez. There were no shopping malls, no traffic noises to speak of, absolutely no entertainment, and no one spoke English. We learned how to entertain ourselves by studying the behaviour of the indigenous wildlife, beach combing, and fishing.

After a few years of going to the beach everyday with my dog, I began to think much more on a spiritual level; and because I was completely surrounded by nature, I became inspired to write. This is the reason that all of my characters in Many Faces to Many Places pertain to nature. For example, “Elusive” the beautiful Golden Butterfly of Happiness” was developed because of the quality time that I had to sit on the beach and watch the carefree nature of the butterfly. She’s one of my favourite characters in the book.

How does your book differ from others that are similar? That is a good question to ask since Many Faces to Many Places has been categorised as being similar to Pilgrims Progress, Hinds Feet in High Places, Hiawatha and even The Wizard of OZ because of the style. However, it differs from them in as much as the courageous spirit that I created as the protagonist, Many Faces, has the gift of communicating with nature, and it is through these animations that she receives her insights as she journeys through a world of timeless knowledge.

Why did you choose POD? After I finished my book I began to look for a publisher. The thought of getting rejected never even crossed my mind! Then as the rejection letters began to roll in, I started to take them personally. That was when I remembered that Richard Bach got rejected 265 times before some “smart” publisher took a risk, and then it became a huge success! One day I received a contract from a publisher in Utah. I was thrilled! Had it not been for my husband who read “between the lines” and discovered that there was no mention of marketing in the contract, he suggested that I keep looking. I received two more contracts after that and discovered that they were all the same … the writer gets about 8% depending on how hard he/she markets the book, and the publisher gets all the rest. The maths on that made me decide to go with a POD Press that let me keep all of my rights, did a lot of marketing, and helped me to do the rest.

Since then, I have learned that whether you or a traditional publisher publishes your book, the marketing is all up to you, and it is probably more important than writing it. If the marketing effort doesn’t continue … the book dies.

What do you see as the advantages and disadvantages of this method? My view of the advantages is simply that by choosing a POD publisher you get to keep all of your rights and almost all of your royalties. Unlike publishing through a printing press where you have to purchase a certain amount of books for a price cut, a POD publisher has no warehousing and you don’t have to purchase all of the books in advance. Another advantage is that a POD publisher usually works with a distributor, obtains the copyright for you, ISBN number, and does some of the marketing. However, one of the disadvantages is that there are still several book reviewers out there who thumb their noses at reviewing POD published books.

However, based on the latest book publishing news, I believe this is changing very rapidly. I truly believe that the choice of the future for most authors is going to be POD publishing simply because of the changes in the traditional views that are happening in the book world, not to mention the economical advantages of being able to revise your book cover or update your book later.

How did you market your book? Because I was out of the country when my book was published, I began to do all of the marketing on the internet. Since then, I have come to believe that it is the Internet that is now “the tool” to boost the career of writers and authors.

According to the information that is given to us at writer’s conferences, NY editors and book publishers actually have people scanning the Internet to keep up with the book world. The Internet is an affordable, and a non-exhaustive source for promoting and advertising. Aside from book signings at bookstores, press releases, presentations at local charities, radio and TV interviews, it’s the Internet. Additionally, I set up book signings at local book stores; attend Book Festivals, trade shows and Book Fairs. I also query reviewers to ask for permission to send them a copy of my book for a review. I carry bookmarkers, business cards, postcards with me at all times, and I also enter the book in book contests. I am constantly looking for new promotional websites, opportunities for radio and TV interviews, advertising, and postcard mailings. I also believe in book trailers because they give the interested book buyer a visual glimpse into your book which is really nice.

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome? You wouldn’t believe the challenges and obstacles that I had to overcome. I used to think I was crazy for even trying. Just imagine living in a foreign country where no one spoke English, and other than the telephone, there was no other means of communication with the outside world. I actually started writing my first book by hand. Who does that anymore??? (Laugh) … After about 6 months of total frustration, my husband secretly asked a friend to sneak a computer down in the trunk of his car. Imagine having a huge clunker without Windows XP and an old Epson ribbon printer for your computer. Well, actually, I guess we all started out that way, didn’t we. How soon we forget. (Laugh) …

Needless to say, when this clunker arrived as a surprise, I was ecstatic. After about 2 months of learning the computer, I began to transfer my written pages onto one of those old “floppy disks” … yes, a floppy disk! However, it sure made my life easier because I was able to cut and paste, move things around, do a complete spell check, and do a global replacement on words. Why I thought I had died and gone to heaven!

What I hadn’t counted on was the electricity going out without warning at any time of the day. It would often go out while I was right in the middle of one of my inspirational moments ~ then PRUGH ~ the electricity would go out and I would lose all of my work! After a few horrifying experiences, I became so gun shy that I began to save almost every single line of my work. On top of that, I prayed that nothing would happen to the computer because that meant that I would have to sent it back to the USA to be fixed, which meant that I would have to wait for the friend who brought it down to return to Mexico to take it back. So, I would get up every morning at 2 a.m. to write until about 7 or 8 am. That appeared to be a safe window for using electricity.

Needless to say, my hours became quite crazy. Aside from those crazy hours, I backed up everything. Once I finished the manuscript, I asked a friend to bring me a list of publishers. When it arrived, I sent query letters, and received three favourable responses. Then after many months of phone calls to friends in the USA asking them to investigate these particular publishers, I made my final decision. From that point on, all correspondence was “snail-mail,” between countries. That sure took a big chuck of time ~ (Laugh) … Now, gosh everything is via email with attachments!

What would you say to others considering POD? What I would say to others is that there are several different options to publishing a book now. One of course, is traditional; the other is to self publish completely, i.e. using a press that only does the printing and binding for you; a vanity house that will do all of the work for you for a fee; and a POD publisher. The difference between a vanity house and a POD publisher is that the vanity house acts quite like a traditional publisher except unlike the traditional publisher who pays you upfront upon signing of the contract, the vanity house asks you pay them upfront. The beauty of publishing with a POD publisher is that authors get a little bit of all of the above in as much as you pay for the publishing, you have complete control, retain all of your rights, there is no warehousing, and they do all of the work.

Regardless of which one is chosen, the marketing is always all up to you; moreover, marketing the book is more important than writing it because if the marketing doesn’t continue, then the book dies. Whichever way authors decide to publish, the most important factor in any contract is in my opinion, is the amount of marketing that they are willing to participate in.

Where can I get a copy of your book? Many Faces to Many Places is available in three different formats. For trade paperback it can be ordered from Barnes and Noble, Border’s Books, Amazon and through any traditional bookstore by using the ISBN number in the UK or North America. For audio format, it can be ordered through or through the same bookstores as well as directly from the publishers. The eBook format is available through,, and through Amazon’s new Digital Kindle Books. For a complete synopsis, visit

Friday, 16 November 2007

Widowhood Happens by Gene K Garrison

Widowhood Happens by Gene K Garrison
Published Xlibris Corporation
ISBN 9781401046378
Genre: non fiction, self help
Price: from £18.80 (paperback). Hardback edition also available.

What is your book about? Widowhood Happens is about preparing for widowhood.

Why did you write the book? A friend of mine was recently widowed. Knowing that I am a writer, she said, "Gene, you HAVE to write a book about widowhood. There are so many things that aren't anticipated. Women don't know what to expect." Actually, I didn't want to write the book. I made a list of pros and cons. The cons turned out to be the longest list:

1. Nobody wants to read about a spouse's death.
2. It will not be a best seller, or come anywhere near it.
3. It will be difficult to find a publisher.
4. It will be difficult to sell.

The more I thought about it, I gradually changed my mind.

On the pro list I wrote: "I want to do it." That was my final decision.

Where did you get your inspiration from? My inspiration came from my friend Margaret, especially after she told me all the odd things about her bereavement.

How does your book differ from others that are similar? It differs greatly in the way I chose to write it. Twelve widows and two widowers told me their stories, starting with Margaret. They were all different in their personalities, education, circumstances and ages. One widow's story after another can get to the point where they begin to blur into each other, and since I try not to give advice, I interviewed professionals who deal with problems of the bereaved.

The solicitor (attorney) had the expected list of papers you should immediately be able to put your hands on, but she also had some very intimate stories about women and men who couldn't cope well. These examples show the reader what to avoid as well as positive things to do. A psychologist said that it is not very often that a widowed person needs help with his or her emotions. A sign of needing that kind of intervention is if the bereaved blocks out ordinary life by never opening the curtains, not answering the phone, not going out — avoidance.

I interviewed a priest about a therapeutic weekend, led by lay leaders (not officials of the church) who had been trained to ask key questions and listen to the bereaved air his or her distressful thoughts. This is amazingly helpful for both the widowed and divorced. They say goodbye to their former spouses, and start a new beginning. This does not mean that they will forget them. A minister said that churches generally are not very helpful to the bereaved. Friends and relatives often say hurtful things to the surviving member of a couple. I told him about the therapeutic weekend, and he agreed that that was an exception.

One bad example of people who say the wrong thing is the lady who said to a young, grieving wife, "Don't worry, you had six years together, you'll get married again." Horrible, awful — and stupid! Bossy, argumentative relatives are another cross to bear. Maybe friends and relatives will take a few hints from the bereaved and be careful of what they say. It's better to give your attention to the person in need of it, but it's no time to give your opinions. I did give two pieces of advice, but it wasn't to the bereaved. It was to the friends and relatives: LISTEN and DON'T JUDGE! That is so important.

The book is neither religious nor non religious. If a widow or widower wanted to talk about religion, they did. If they didn't that was fine. I wasn't pushing any particular belief. In fact, some women were angry with God. Some were angry with their husbands for leaving them. One woman was relieved when her former husband ran into a tree and died. She was in an abusive marriage for 30 years before she divorced him.

A chapter that surprised me was the result of a question I asked friends. I asked them because I didn't want to approach a stranger with this question: What have you done to prepare for widowhood? There was such a variety of responses. Many made me smile. This book is not all doom and gloom. It's honest and revealing and, I hope, helpful to readers. I've been told so.

Why did you choose POD? I chose POD for the same reason that my other books have been published that way — to save time, have control, get it out to the public, have it on record.

What do you see as he advantages and disadvantages of this method? What I saw as a disadvantage early on was the lack of distribution. That has recently been improved. helps with that and one of my POD companies has worldwide distribution. Another disadvantage is that some newspapers refuse to review books by POD publishers. That is not good. The advantage to writers is that they can see their books in print even though the large traditional publishers won't touch them because they won't be best sellers.

How do you market your book? I have several books that I market the same way — websites, newspaper announcements, radio interviews and talks to groups. I'm open to all kinds of ideas, except the ones that cost money.

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome? It is getting people to realise that they really SHOULD prepare for widowhood — even if they're young and healthy, and don't want to give a thought to dying.

What would you say to others considering POD? It takes more effort to be a POD writer, but it saves time, and you get your book published. Just make sure it is as professional a job as the ones published by traditional publishers. Maybe you should start with magazine articles. That's what I did. I was a features articles writer for a local magazine for 20 years, and am a freelancer. The pros judge my work.

Where can I get a copy of your book? In Britain I would choose It can also be ordered at in the U.S.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

There's Something About Cave Creek: Gene K Garrison

Title: There's Something About Cave Creek: It's the People
Author: Gene K Garrison
ISBN: 9781430309826
Published by:
Genre: non fiction, western
Price: £7.95

What is the book about? "There's Something About Cave Creek (It's The People) is about characters who lived in the tiny desert community of Cave Creek, Arizona, USA in the early 1900s.

It's a Western, but not all shoot-'em-up. For instance, there was a sometime-prospector/sometime artist who painted landscapes in oils. He sold or traded his art at the local bar for drinks. That bar, Harold's Cave Creek Corral, was the centre of the social life, along with parties in homes where local musicians were very much in demand.

There's a chapter about Katherine Jones who had a reputation as a good shot. She was sheriff for while in the 1930s and she meant business. During Prohibition (a law that prohibited the making or selling of alcoholic beverages) she kept the bootleggers (illegal brewers of booze) at bay, except for a few choice ones that she felt were acceptable.

Another sheriff, at a different time was tall, slim Frank Donars. He didn't want to be sheriff, but nobody else would do it. His most dreaded job was breaking up fights at the bars on a Saturday night. It was dangerous. A very odd thing that he did was chain prisoners to a tree overnight instead of taking them down the dirt road to jail in Phoenix. It was about a thirty mile trip, and he did not want to waste the time. The prisoners, surprisingly, preferred being chained to a tree than going to jail, which would cause them to lose a day's work, and they couldn't afford that. The kind sheriff would unchain them in the morning and drive them to their jobs because most of them didn't have cars. It turned out that Sheriff Donars was really a musician.

Why did you write the book? I am a freelance writer, and in the 1970s I chose to write about these characters. I found them fascinating. Then in 2006 I decided that they deserved a book. I decided to share them with the world.

Where did you get your inspiration from? My inspiration was from the people themselves. Leadpipe was squatter who lived in a trailer and lean-to next to the County Dump. That's what it was called then. Now they call them "landfills." The Mothers' Club was composed of strong women who wanted the best for their children. They set out to solve problems whether they knew what they were doing or not, and they were great achievers.

I wrote a chapter about a cowboy who worked for the government mending fences way out in the boonies. I discovered him by accident on my way home from interviewing a charming elderly couple who owned a gold mine, but lived without electricity, or any other modern day amenities. The cowboy was packing his horse with supplies for a long fence mending job. That's what I called the chapter — "Mendin' Fences."

How does your book differ from others that are similar? The Cave Creek book brings to life a long ago era. You can call it history if you like, but there were no wars, no gigantic discoveries, except for gold, silver and copper, and they were just mentioned in passing. It's about getting to know people and the way they lived. The book preserves that era.

Usually writers do research about times gone by. They stick their noses into library books or pull up facts on computers and write, with a little change here and there, about what other writers wrote. Sometimes the facts gets changed in the translation. I got my information first hand, from the people who lived it. I listened intently as they told me about their lives, their struggles, their humour in their colloquial style — and I always checked back with them to see if there was anything that needed to be added, or changed in any way. I was told by one of my editors that I didn't have to do that because I'm a professional writer. I did it anyway.

Why did you choose POD? I have had two books published by traditional publishers, even published one myself, and then after those two books were out-of-print for a while I decided that POD sounded like the answer. I would have information in front of the computer world, and the POD company would take orders and do the accounting. I would receive royalties. I thought I had it made.

What do you see as the advantages and disadvantages of this method? The negative: distribution was non existent, they charged for everything they could think of, and I had to do my own PR. Bookstores don't want to stock them. I don't want to be my own distributer, and I would like to have time to write something other than PR. I went to a different POD company for the book under discussion here. I feel I have more control and that they are doing more for me.

How did you market your book? In marketing I I try different things. I have it for sale in one bookstore, The Well Red Coyote, and have it in a few Barnes & Noble bookstores. I recently sent one book to the B & N headquarters for them to determine if they want to put it in their "system." This takes four months. I have written press releases for newspapers, and a local arts and entertainment weekly has published items about the books, but that's a one time event for each one. I have been on radio interviews right from home, and I like that. I have spoken to groups — a retired teachers club, a community centre, and a museum. I have participated in book festivals. I had an expensive ad in an expensive magazine.

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome? I'm still trying to overcome marketing. It takes up too much time, and prevents me from doing creative things.

What would ylou say to others considering POD? For those considering POD I would say to go with, but realise that there is much more work to do than with a traditional publisher. The trouble is that traditional publishers are there to make a profit, and most won't take chances on anything outside the genres that have been profitable for them in the past. POD is a great time saver in the sense that authors don't have to spend years trying to peddle their manuscripts to publishers.

Where can I get a copy of your book? "There's Something About Cave Creek (It's The People) may be ordered online at or

Peaceful Mind, Thinner Body: Lisa Saper-Bloom

Book Title: Peaceful Mind, Thinner Body: A Woman's Week-by-Week Guide to Emotional Weight Loss
Author: Lisa Saper-Bloom
Publisher: Wheatmark
ISBN: 9781587368455
Genre: Health and Wellness, Self-Help, Yoga
Price: £7.91

What is your book about?
Peaceful Mind, Thinner Body is about shedding emotional weight. Emotional Weight is the self-sabotaging comments and degrading comments of others we carry throughout our lives. This weight literally weighs us down physically. Peaceful Mind, Thinner Body is about taking five minutes a day for yourself and working to release the statements, and therefore, losing physical pounds.

Why did you write the book?
Peaceful Mind, Thinner Body started out as daily weight loss and wellness tips. Part of my healing arts specialties is life coaching. My life coaching specialty is emotional weight loss. As part of my clients' process, they would receive these daily weight loss and wellness tips. With that, I thought to myself, I should do a 365 tips type of book.
After speaking with an agent about it, and changing the books focus and format, Peaceful Mind, Thinner Body was born.

Where did you get the inspiration from?
The inspiration came from my own healing process and the healing journeys I helped others through. My yoga students and life coaching clients were the inspiration behind this book.

How does your book differ from others that are similar?
My book focuses on self-sabotaging statements and the degrading comments of others. I do not know of another self-help, weight loss, health and wellness book that does this.
My book also offers space to create your own comments, in the event that the words you say or hear do not match mine. So it is customized for the reader.

The "exercises" in Peaceful Mind, Thinner Body are based on gentle yoga for all body types, aromatherapy, life coaching, and self-massage.

It also differs because the last page works as a mail-in rebate. The reader fills out and mails the last page to me, and then I send them the accompanying 11 track guided imagery CD. The separate tracks work as "exercises" as well.

Why did you choose POD?
After talking with an agent, and after she gave me the green light, she decided to leave the literary world.
My body, mind, and soul knew that this book is the book of NOW.
I did not feel I had time to search for agents that may or may not accept my work.
I did not feel I had time to search for publishers that may or may not accept my work.
I feel I have the strength, drive, and determination to get this book out there...and that the agent and publisher will show up...once they have discovered it.

What do you see as the advantages and the disadvantages of this method?
Advantages: complete creative control and high royalties!
Disadvantages: you are everything and everyone on this project. You must uphold the strength and endurance day in and day out to get your book out there, noticed, talked about, and sold!

How did you market your book?
I would rephrase this question, asking, how are you marketing your book?
I have been marketing from all angles.
I have done everything from monthly TV segments and my personal website to myspace and internet radio interviews. I continue to contact the Oprah show and other talk shows. I receive Jerry Simmons Tips for Writers. And I have now "hired" someone to beat the street and sell it to specialty stores, yoga studios, spas etc.
The list goes on and on...magazine articles, magazine interviews, blah blah blah...!

What is the biggest challenge you had to overcome?
Plain and simple, burnout.
I have days when funky town is looking a whole lot more appealing than sitting at my computer strategizing and making contacts.

What would you say to others considering a POD?
Put your seat belt on...and enjoy the ride.
There are highs, lows, twists, and turns.
Be ready to celebrate it all...because it all leads to something...even if it's just greater understanding.

Where can I get a copy of your book?

Monday, 22 October 2007

More than Meets the Eye: Yvonne Perry

Book Title: More Than Meets the Eye True Stories about Death, Dying, and Afterlife: Yvonne Perry
Published: BookSurge Publishing (9 Jun 2005)
ISBN: 9780975387061
Genre: Mind, Body and Spirit

Price: £21.19

Summary: Including a commentary by Dr. Aaron Milstone of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, More Than Meets the Eye: True Stories About Death, Dying and Afterlife covers many aspects of the dying and grieving process. Perry uses true stories to look squarely in the face of euthanasia, suicide, near-death experience, post-mortem processes, hospice care, assisting the passing of a loved one, spirit visits from deceased loved ones and other topics people are somewhat reluctant to talk about. The book offers non-religious information and insight to assist people in finding peace about the mysterious process of transitioning back to God/Source. A legal document that may be used as a living will is included in the appendix. Read more at or purchase at

What is your book about? More Than Meets the Eye gives information to alleviate the fear of death; comfort caregivers, friends and family of a person who is near the end of life, or has recently passed and provides understanding for those who have had a near-death experience and lived to tell about it. Insight from Dr. Aaron Milstone, Medical Director of Vanderbilt University Medical Center's Lung Transplant Program about why physicians are ill-equipped to deal with death and are unable to comfort dying patients or their families.

Other discussion points include:

Why people sense the presence of their loved ones near them during the funeral, graveside ceremony and in the days following.

Reasons we should address end of life issues with family members.

Understanding emotions regarding sorrow, grief, loss and guilt.

How to tell if death is about to occur for a critically ill patient and how to assist a loved one in gently departing.

Dealing with the emotional devastation of a loved one’s suicide and signs that indicate someone may be suicidal.

Discussion about euthanasia.

There’s also a legal copy of a Living Will, also known as an Advanced Health Care Directive included in the book and on my website

Why did you write the book? I have experienced the loss of several loved ones and understand the grief felt by those on this side of their passing. I’ve been by the bedside of family members who suffered prior to their passing and felt I had something to offer care givers. I also know that the deceased tend to attempt to communicate with us. Many people don’t like to talk about this, but I feel it is an important part of the process and it should be understood as well.

I think most people are afraid of things they do not understand, and they either try to avoid the matter or find a way to invalidate their experience. The American view of death and the afterlife is deeply rooted in fearful superstition and religious dogma that suggests punishment for sin. Much of this does not align with the experiences had by people who have had a glimpse of the other side. Due to fear of being rejected by family, friends and religious organizations, people are not comfortable sharing anything that veers from the path of what society considers “normal.”

I find that when I talk about my spiritual experiences, people are genuinely interested and they feel safe enough to share similar encounters they have had. Once the ice is broken, they find the conversation so comforting and liberating, they want to read my book.

Where did you get your inspiration from? I have always been curious about the other side, but while my uncle was on life support for almost a year, I kept sensing that I was being visited by his spirit. Moments after he passed away, (before my mother called to share the news) I heard my uncle’s voice in my head and knew that he had passed. He told me what songs he wanted me to play and sing at his funeral. I hadn’t yet been asked to play, but when my mother did call to tell me my uncle had passed, she also requested I sing and play for the funeral. Of course the songs my aunt picked were the same songs my uncle had requested during his supernatural visit. I sensed my uncle’s presence at the ceremony so strongly that I could only smile while everyone else was crying. To me, he had not “gone” anywhere. He was closer than ever.

How does your book differ from others that are similar? It not only gives information to help people understand what to expect before, during and after death but how to deal with the emotional experience, physical challenges and spiritual insight it provides.

Why did you choose POD? I did not want to spend my time and energy trying to convince a publisher that my work had merit or that they could make money on it. Instead, I wanted to offer encouragement to the people who need it now. POD allowed me to do this with a quality product that I feel proud of.

What do you see as the advantages and disadvantages of this method? My book is not on the shelves in bricks and mortar bookstores; however, the book probably wouldn’t be on their shelves if I had gone with a conventional publisher either. Shelf space is hard to come by. My book may be ordered if a patron requests it in a bookstore, but many people make their purchases online these days so I don’t feel that I’m missing sales just because I chose POD.

How did you market your book? At first I promoted it to my friends and family. I sold 200 copies right off the bat. I didn’t do much to promote the book after the initial launch. My second book RIGHT TO RECOVER Winning the Political and Religious Wars over Stem Cell Research in America just came out this month. When it started selling, More Than Meets the Eye also started selling again. In fact More Than Meets the Eye is ahead of RIGHT TO RECOVER in the US Amazon ranks and I’ve spent $4,000 marketing it!

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome? Learning how to market my book and coming up with the money to do so.

What would you say to others considering POD? These days the author is expected to do much of the marketing regardless of how a book is published. Having a conventional publisher might have given me some money in advance to do some marketing, but sales would have to justify my keeping the advance. If you think you have a marketable product and you are willing to market your book, POD is the way to go.

Where can I get a copy of your book? More Than Meets the Eye is available in the UK at

A Prescription for Love: Leeanne Marie Stephenson

A Prescription for Love: Leeanne Marie Stephenson
Published: Publish America
ISBN: 9781424165070
Genre: Romantic Fiction
Price: £12.50

What is your book about? It is a romatic love novel that draws you into the drama of the hospital world with breath taking life and death hospital scenarios, a world of wealth and prestige, and underhanded schemes that lend the many twists and turns to this hard to put down read!

Why did you write the book? I was diagnosed with kidney failure due to my diabetes. The prognosis was less than promising. As my physical condition deteriorated, I was forced to give up my career as a nurse. Fatigue and weakness encompassed my entire world as I underwent dialysis treatments. Desperate and determined to still be part of the wonderful medical profession, I started writing a romance novel based on the experiences I had encountered as a nurse.

Where did you get your inspiration from? Instead of giving up, during the darkest time in my life, I drew on the love that surrounded me from my wonderful husband and family to write this loving story. When I wrote, I was released from my physical problems and taken back into the world of nursing, which I loved so much. Romantic stories can always release us from the problems of real life. They send us into a fantasy world where our imaginations can soar. I strove to take my readers and myself into that world. Thus was born my book, “A PRESCRIPTION FOR LOVE”.

How does your book differ from others that are similar? This book is so very special because it represents the strong love I had surrounding me, and what I could accomplish because of it, during the lowest point in my life.

Why did you choose POD? It seemed the most economical of all the venues out there.

What do you see as the advantages and disadvantges of this method? Advantages were availability, ease of publishing. Disadvantages are the time constraints.

How did you market your book? My web site, search engines, newspaprers, book signings.

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome? Finding a way to get my story out there so I could offer hope and inspiration to others tryin to overcome great adversity in their lives.

What would you say to others considering POD? Absolutely do it!

Where can I get a copy of your book? or my own website at

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Silence Cry: Marta Stephens

SILENCE CRY: A Sam Harper Crime Mystery
by Marta Stephens
Crime/Mystery Genre
BeWrite Books (UK)
ISBN 9781905202720
UK GBP 7.99, US $15.50, Canada 18.50;

What is your book about?
Homicide detective Sam Harper is the new officer on the beat; SILENCED CRY is his calling card. Torn between guilt and suspicion, Harper tries to make sense of the events that led to his partner’s murder during a routine surveillance of a drug supplier.
It quickly becomes evident that his late partner, Frank Gillies intentionally muddied the facts. Key points don’t add up and make Harper believe Gillies is involved in illegal activities. When questions surrounding his partner’s death go unanswered, Harper suspects a cover up.

Determined to find Gillies’ killer, Harper plunges back into his work. He and his a new partner, Dave Mann are called to their first case at the Harbor View Apartments, a building marked for demolition where workers discover the skeletal remains of an infant entombed in one of the walls. The investigation into the infant’s murder opens the floodgates of questions. When the suspects in the Baby Doe case link back to Gillies, the evidence mounds as quickly as the bodies in the morgue, and the truth leads Harper to the person he least suspects.

Why did you write the book? I’ve loved mysteries since I was a little girl; the more complicated, the better. My passion began in grade school with ghost stories and eventually led to Agatha Christie and other greats like Alfred Hitchcock. Since I am the whole of my life experiences, my writing has also been influenced by the classic noir films I’ve enjoyed over the years. I wanted to touch upon the emotions that millions of people around the could relate to: grief, anger, joy, fears, resentment, worry, suspicion, etc., and trigger those emotions in my readers through the characters in my books.

How does your book differ from others that are similar? The consistent comment in all my reviews is the complexity of the plot. Armchair Review wrote: “If you are looking for a novel ripe with twists and turns and intricate interweaving of plots ...” Chrystal Reviews (NY) wrote: “She knows how to spin a complex, credible, action-packed and gripping story with plot, subplot and more subplot. Every page crackles with intrigue, questions, and clues.” Euro-Reviews wrote: “This reviewer has read mysteries since childhood, and even I was hard-pressed to guess the villainous identities, and found it impossible to predict the turns this roller-coaster story would take.”

SILENCED CRY introduced the young Homicide Detective Sam Harper, but unlike other heroes of detective mysteries, Harper is far from perfect. In the beginning, he is content to let his partner call the shots. It quickly becomes evident that his late partner, Frank Gillies, intentionally muddied the facts in their case. When his partner is murdered in the line of duty, key points don’t add up raising suspicions of Gillies’ involvement in illegal activities. When questions surrounding his partner’s death go unanswered, Harper suspects a cover up. The more he digs, the closer the crime leads to his doorsteps. The consistent theme is betrayal and how each character, including Harper deals with it.

Where did you get your inspiration from? I wanted to create a different type of police drama. The storyline for SILENCED CRY developed over time, but I wanted to show the human side of the detective as well as his development from being a complacent individual to a determined, seasoned officer.

Why did you choose POD? I know the hurdles new authors face when they try to place their first novel with an agent and large publishing firm. I believed in my story and felt that given the chance, it would prove to be successful. Going with a POD is not necessarily the easy way out as some may think. It is not self-publishing. My publisher has stringent guidelines and an editorial team so I consider myself fortunate to have been published. However, because it is a small press, there’s a sense of family and one-on-one communication—working as a team, and to me this is critical.

How did you market your book? I belong to numerous writing organizations and online author groups and have promoted the book through intense internet networking. I launched my website weeks before SILENCED CRY was released and began to build a “buzz” for the book through direct mailings as well as blogs. My August virtual book tour attracted new interest from readers and critics alike. Now in the last two months of 2007, I’m focusing on several promotional events locally.

What do you see as the advantages and disadvantages of this method? The advantage of internet promotion is that it gives the author immediate access to readers throughout the world. The disadvantage is not knowing if you have reached your focus target. The key to internet marketing is consistency. Results won’t happen over night, but it will happen if the author takes advantages of networking opportunities. Join writing groups, post announcements and articles in a variety of blogs and forums; develop relationships, encourage and help other authors; and always reciprocate the kindness.

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome? The misconceptions about POD. Most people don’t understand it and equate it to self-publishing. Another challenge has been getting the book into independent and chain bookstores. However, with the distribution centers in the US and the UK, any bookstore, large or small can order it. The flip side of this relates to the previous question—POD also sells books through a multitude of on-line bookstores making it available world wide giving the reader a wide range of options.

What would you say to others considering POD? I believe it’s definitely something for a first-time author to consider. POD not only helps authors get their foot in the door, but it allows them to learn about the publishing world and gain valuable experience and confidence before moving on.

Where can I get a copy of your book? SILENCED CRY, BeWrite Books (UK) publisher; paperback UK GBP 7.99, US $15.50,Canada 18.50; ISBN 978-1-905202-72-0; is available from all Amazon sites including Amazon.UK, The Book Depository
from your local bookstore, or directly from BeWrite Books:

Lightning Days: Colin Harvey

Lightning Days by Colin Harvey
published by Swimming Kangaroo Books
ISBN 9781934041109
Science Fiction
Price: £10

What is your book about? British Special Forces Agent Josh Cassidy is used to being sent on strange missions under various guises, but he is unprepared for his latest venture; sent to Afghanistan to accompany a hastily assembled and ill-prepared team of reservists delegated to investigate a series of heat sources shown in a politically sensitive area by a satellite fly-by.
Needless to say in such circumstances, things do not go according to plan, and Cassidy’s team find themselves the more or less willing guests of a vast tribe of modern-day descendants of Neanderthals, who seem to have materialized from nowhere.
In fact, the Thals have considerably developed psi-powers which allow them to cross between alternate realities, and allowed their ancestors to escape the extinction that overtook their equivalents in our universe.

However, their powers are inadequate against an even more distant evolutionary branch of humanity, who view the existence of these alternate realities as anathema, and have decided on a war of extinction.

Cassidy’s men and a group of Americans sent to check on the events must team up with the forces and venture deep into enemy territory in what turns out to be a race against time, even as Cassidy must overcome his own personal demons if any of them are to survive.

Why did you write the book? I have long had a love of pre-history and a fascination with what might have been, and writing Lightning Days allowed me to explore both.

Where did you get your inspiration from? Various works by Paul Levinson and Michael Moorcock, as well as a little tribute to the legendary Alfred Bester, and lots and lots and lots of research on subjects as diverse as the Everglades, super-volcanic eruptions in Indonesia, and the Spanish Inquisition!

How does your book differ from others that are similar? I’ve blended – successfully according to Interzone magazine -- several genres that are normally kept apart because publishers know better than readers. Not!

Why did you choose POD? My publisher is a POD publisher. I chose them because like me, they wanted work that crossed genres.

What do you see as the advantages and disadvantges of this method? The author has much more influence over how the book is published and promoted, and minimizes the risk of carrying large stocks. But it is difficult to get the books into physical bookstores, and to get reviewed by the most prestigious publications, although not impossible.

How did you market your book? I send out many review copies, and have been successful in receiving some fine reviews from prestigious publications. I also –with my publisher – took out adverts in key magazines.

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome? The entrenched prejudice in the industry against POD books, and small publishers.

What would you say to others considering POD? POD allows you greater control over your work, but it is difficult – make no mistake about it. Half of your work will be educating your peers in ‘proper’ publishers who tell you why you should get a real deal.
Where can I get a copy of your book? or via

Who Killed Marcia Maynard: Alma H Bond

Who Killed Marcia Maynard? Or The Psychoanalyst is Dead: by Alma H. Bond
Published ASJA Press (iUniverse)
ISBN 9780595458967
Genre: Mystery
Cover price: £8.00
What is your book about? The third book in Alma Bond’s Mary Wells mystery series, Who Killed Marcia Maynard? or The Psychoanalyst is Dead has just been published by ASJA Press.
Dr. Marcia Maynard, famous child psychoanalyst and infant researcher, was murdered in her bed at the El Dorado Apartment House in Manhattan by an unknown killer. Psychoanalyst Mary Wells helps solve the mystery with her astute analytical and psychological skills. Wells and her lover, Detective John Franklin, are an almost unstoppable team. Finding someone angry enough to kill Maynard was not difficult, as many people had been mistreated by the doctor. The suspects included her beautiful Indian housekeeper, Asha Rupashi, whom Maynard continually abused and who was a beneficiary in Maynard’s will, her chief associate and co-author Dr. James Whirter, a man her colleagues said she treated “like a lapdog,” Rogerio Chavez, a Chinese restaurant delivery man whom Maynard had insulted and infuriated, and several suitors whom she had rejected. Another suspect is the stunning psychoanalyst Ruby Malone, who had given a paper in Maynard’s area of expertise. An observer said, ‘Maynard wiped up the floor with her in front of the entire membership. One by one, she cut down each of Malone’s points so viciously she couldn’t catch her breath enough to answer.” Could Ruby have killed Maynard, to get even with her for the public attack?
A young boy Buster Baines, who saw the delivery man sneaking out of Maynard’s back door, is kidnaped before he can testify. Dr. Wells’s car is brutally attacked, and a fire started in it from which she narrowly escapes with her life. Chavez is suspected as the arsonist in an attempt to get rid of the sleuth on his trail. After interrogation of numerous suspects, the killer breaks down under the ingenious psychological questioning of Dr. Wells.

Why did you write the book? I wrote this particular book because the victim is based on someone I both loved and hated. Writing it “cured” me of both feelings.
Where did you get your inspiration from? I enjoyed writing the first two books in the series, The Deadly Jigsaw Puzzle and Murder on the Streetcar, as a welcome relief from my usual heavy biographies, i.e. The Autobiography of Maria Callas, a Novel, Who Killed Vriginia Woolf?, and Camille Claudel, a Novel. Because I enjoyed writing the first two mysteries so much, I was delighted to begin the third.

How does your book differ from others that are similar? Unlike other writers of mysteries, I am a psychoanalyst who was in private practice for 37 years. I believe my background makes me highly qualified to understand the behavioural aspects of the criminal mind.

Why did you choose POD? Writing the books was fun, and I wanted them published as quickly as possible. I didn’t suspect they would be as well received as they were.
What do you see as the advantages and disadvantges of this method? Publication is fast, the author maintains control over how the book is edited and publicized, and reaps the financial rewards of its sales. The disadvantages are that it is difficult to get the books into bookstores, and to get reviewed by the most prestigious publications.

How did you market your book? I send out many postcards advertising my books, and find word of mouth most helpful. I also send out many review copies, and have been most successful in receiving fine reviews.

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome? The prejudice in the industry against POD books.

What would you say to others considering POD? If you can get a good agent or publisher, your book would have more prestige. On the other hand, it is very difficult for a newcomer to find such representation, and publication takes much longer, so going the way of the POD is a good alternative. After all, there is nothing like holding that first copy of your book in your hand, no matter who the publisher is!

Where can I get a copy of your book?
for more details, see my own website at

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Who, Me? Paranoid? by Erica Stux

Who, Me? Paranoid? Humor Humor Everywhere: by Erica Stux
published by
ISBN 9781587366765
Genre: humour
Price: £7.91
What is your book about? I wrote about the funny aspects of ordinary situations and some daunting experiences. Not funny at the time, but looking back - I can laugh about them.
Why did I write the book? I had published other books, but this was a new genre for me. Several of the essays in the book had been published individually. I had enough others that I decided could fill up a whole book.
Where did I get my inspiration? Mostly living with my husband and children.

How does my book differ from others? There are several similar books, but everybody's experiences are different, and I wrote about my own experiences.

Why did I choose POD? I got tired of getting rejections from trade publishers.
What do you see as the advantages and disadvantages of this method? You have to do all your own promoting, but you get a bigger percentage of sales.

How did I market my book? I got several people to post reviews on Amazon. Contacted several catalogues to list the book. Contacted several online reviewers to do reviews on their websites. Gave readings of excerpts to women's clubs. Participated in two huge Book Festivals.
Biggest challenge to overcome? The promotion takes up a good part of my time.
What can I say to others considering POD? It takes a lot of work, but can be very satisfying

Where to get a copy of the book? or

I Romanced the Stone - Memoirs of a Recovering Hippie: Marvin Wilson

I Romanced the Stone (Memoirs of a Recovering Hippie): by Marvin Wilson
Published by Global Authors Publishers (July 26, 2006)
ISBN 9780977968039

What is your book about? When you think of a crackhead, what kind of picture comes to mind? A stupid teenager with little or no education? A prostitute? A smack talking, ghetto-born African-American? Or maybe, a misfit Caucasion dropout from a broken home, with an alcoholic, abusive, absentee father? Crack heads are street walking, panhandling, hustling, poorly dressed, teeth missing, gaunt, thin, useless, and dangerous looking kinds of people, that you'd never invite over to dinner, right?

Well guess again, because the author of these memoirs is an educated, articulate and thoughtful, formerly successful family and businessman, a grandfather, who owns expensive suits, always knows how to appear well groomed, and knows which fork is used when, at the gourmet banquets of the upper middle class.

"I Romanced the Stone" observes, discusses and exposes fundamental tendencies of addiction in our society, and weaves these general themes throughout the personal story of the author's journey. The reader comes to understand that drug addiction is not some exclusive disease of the poor or the uneducated, or the social castaways of our world; it is an insatiable and insidious ghost, shadowing anyone, of any walk of life, from any economic or social environment. It can appear as a false god, "the good life", and then devour you as "the grim reaper" is revealed bewilderingly to you, as your new slave master.

The book tells how the author was rehabilitated, cured, and had his life and soul spared, through love and help from family and most significantly, through a powerful spiritual experience. It is an inspiring, yet fearsomely awesome story, sending a message of hope and advisement.

Why did you write the book? It was my way of giving back to God, repaying the universe for a new lease on life. I want help others avert certain ruin by going down the dark road I traversed and nearly died on.

How does your book differ from others that are similar? There are others books written by the author's experience of an addiction experience, and some offer cures, as well. However, I ROMANCED THE STONE is more than a memoir. The book is half personal journey and half social comment and critique.

Why did you choose POD? Being it was my first ever book, I had no clue how to go about getting published. I just networked online, found and joined author and writer forums, home schooled myself on how to write a query letter, make a submission, write a good proposal, etc. At first I tried traditional publishing companies, but was always met with rejection for one of two opposite reasons.

The secular publishers eschewed it for being too "religious" – my addiction cure was one of a spiritual Christ experience. They wanted me to re-write the ending into more of a new age "Ultimate It" self-discovery. But this book is about truth, and I give credit where credit is due.

Ironically, the Christian publishers also rejected it for being too worldly. I don't pull any punches in the story telling of what it's like on the drug infested inner city streets. There's plenty of spicy language, graphic depictions of despairing souls, illicit sex etc, in the book. And I wasn't about to water it down into some phony nicey-nice Sunday School story.

So, I just decided if I wanted the thing done right, I'd just have to do it myself and go with self publishing.

What do you see as the advantages and disadvantages of this method? Advantages? Number one, control of your work! Except for editing for spelling, punctuation, good grammar, syntax, good sentence flow, STONE was printed exactly as I wrote it and wanted it. Number two, you have control of your work. Did I say you have complete control?
Disadvantages? Well for one, you have to pay to have your book published, rather than getting paid for it being published. Also, and even though this is true for many of the smaller traditional publishers as well, your book is not going to get promoted and wind up on bookstore shelves unless you can mount a mighty personal marketing and promotion campaign.

How did you market your book? TV and radio talk show interviews, blog tours and interviews like this one, massive amounts of online networking.

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome? Actually committing to the publication of it. I wrote the book firstly as a catharsis, part of the healing process. A reflective person at heart, I figure things about by writing about them. And I did have it in my mind and heart that I wanted to help others with the telling of my story. BUT … when it came time to actually commit to the promise I'd made, it was tough. Going public with a memoir that features an idiot tied to a crack pipe that just happened to be yourself is a little like wearing your underwear on the outside of your suit. It had to be done, though, so I sucked scared up and got on with it.

What would you say to others considering POD? If it's your first time, join some author's forums, network and find good people to work with. A great source I use all the time is the Preditors and Editors site, they list and rank publishers and agents, with rankings from "strongly not recommended" to "highly recommended." Make sure the company you go with is legit. I nearly got clobbered with a rascal outfit during the early going with STONE. I got a quick acceptance from a submission and was all giddy with beginner's luck. A little online research dashed my dreams into thankful reality. The company was infamous for tying up your book pub rights for years, producing poorly edited crap that almost no bookstores wanted in their stores. You just have to do your due diligence; there are plenty of fine outfits available with good packages to offer, fair pricings and contracts, producing good quality books.

Where can I get a copy of your book? It's available through – Or, if you want a personalized signed copy, email me through my website at: You can also order it from any major bookstore. If you like the read, do me a favour; go back to the bookstore and request that they start carrying some copies on their shelves (another example of my marketing – Ha!)

Jesus Taught It Too: Philip F Harris

Jesus Taught it Too: The Early Roots of the Law of Attraction by Philip F Harris
Published Avatar Publications
Metaphysics/Spiritual Growth
ISBN 978097096960
Price £7.19

What is your book about? JESUS TAUGHT IT, TOO: THE EARLY ROOTS OF THE LAW OF ATTRACTION shows that not only is the Law of Attraction over 2,000 years old but that it was actually taught by Jesus. Looking at the many quotes in the Bible, you can find that Jesus actually made many comments on this issue and actually put forth a formula for its use. The book shows these quotes and the hidden meaning behind them. It also has chapters on effective visualization, the power of gratitude and my exclusive interview with John Demartini of the book and movie, The Secret, fame.

Why did you write the book? Organized religions have tried to suppress topics like the Law of Attraction even though they themselves, have used such laws. The book was written to help fulfil the prophecy that says “all that is hidden will be revealed.” It is further meant to show that spirituality and not religious dogma is at the heart of the teachings of the great Masters.
Where did you get your inspiration from? Inspiration always comes from the spirit, that small voice, within.

How does your book differ from others that are similar? To my knowledge, few if any authors on religious thought have taken the time to see what those like Jesus had to say on many current issues. Many take quotes out of context to prove dogmatic points. What I did is to see what Jesus had to say as a ‘stream of thought’ on the subject by putting all that he had to say in one place.

Why did you choose POD? The book is from a POD publisher but it is not self published. It has been released by a small press called Avatar Publication based in Canada. However, they distribute to the US, the UK (through Gardners) and South Africa.
What do you see as the advantages and disadvantages of this method? The biggest advantage of POD is that small presses can take more risks in publishing new titles. They do not have to warehouse thousands of titles and costs are kept very low. To those that self-publish, this is obviously the same advantage.

How did you market your book? Avenues such as blogs like yours are one way to market. I also maintain my own blog, ALL THING THAT MATTER, have a web site, promote through author groups like NothingBinding, issue press releases, write articles for places like the American Chronicle, Ezines and I am listed as a spiritual expert on that includes the likes of Oprah, Dr. Phil and well known spiritual authors.

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome? From a marketing perspective it is the amount of time it takes to ‘be out there’ that is a challenge. My wife calls herself a book widow.

What would you say to others considering POD? Even bestselling authors are starting to go this route to publish their works. You keep control of the material and even small presses that use POD are easier to deal wuth because changes in the books are easier to make.

Where can I get a copy of your book? This book can be ordered from and people can go to my web site, for more links. Alternatively it is available to order from any good shop in the UK or other territories listed above by quoting the ISBN.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Operation Oboe by Miller Caldwell

Operation Oboe by Miller Caldwell

Published Authors OnLine Ltd

ISBN 075520090-X

Price £9.99, fiction

What is your book about? Operation Oboe is a historical novel, based on two of my female relatives/Godmother.

Vera vists her aunt Fleur in Hamburgh 1914 as she married Dr Willy Richter. She is caught behind enemy lines and is carefuly smuggled back to the north of Scotland and her home by sympathisers. But what happens to Fleur? After Dr Willy Richter dies in 1936, Fleur decides to stay in Germany 'til 1939 when she returns home, leaving her son in Hitler's Army. Fleur is appointed to The West African Gold Coast to seek out Fifth columists living in the Bsael Mission community at Abetifi. Some see her as German, others British but she mamages to isolate the Swiss from the Germans and finds she has African family connections. She donates her oboe to her niece after she loses fingers in a lorry accident and turns to teaching after the war at the Wesley school in Kumasi. By this time her son is dead and her new life in an emerging Ghana concludes the story.

Why did you write the book? I wrote the book as I knew the family story was of great interest.

Where did you get your inspiration from? I visited Ghana before writing the book and sailed backin a cocoa boat to write about the two voyages in the book.

How does your book differ from others that are similar? This book is a novel but was almost double biography. Such inspirational female characters are few and far between in the film and literary world.

Why did you choose POD? POD was new to me in 2003 when I published Operation Oboe. I had no idea how well it would sell but I wanted it on a publisher's site too. It stayed in the top ten of AuthorsOnLine for over two years and it has attracted many US sales. I chose not to wait for a big publisher; it was better to have a product than a script.

What do you see as the advantages and disadvantages of this method? It advertises the book in the US/world wide web and I can order as many books as I want. I am also pleased with the quality of book production.

How did you market your book: Guest speaking engagements sell many books, Coop stores in south and east of Scotland; on many web pages of friends and literary pages from Books from Scotland to SOAS and Borders bookshop event in Dundee. Car sticker and web on bumper, flyers, word of mouth. I always have copies of books in my car and car park sales take off around Christmas.

What would you say to others considering POD? POD is a realistic way to publish a book. Few authors are taken on by the mainline bookshops. Selling the book can be a challenge but can be fun.

Where can I get a copy of your book? OPERATION OBOE is found at or on myweb at for more information about this novel being prepared as a film script.

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Genesis of Man by June Austin

Genesis of Man by June Austin.

Published Authors OnLine Ltd, ISBN 9780755202362.

Mind, body and spirit. Price: £14.99

What is your book about? It is essentially a book about our spiritual history, by this I mean the history of our planet and human beliefs concerning God but written from a spiritual perspective. The book contains information then on a number of seemingly different, but nevertheless related subjects, such as Atlantis, the Biblical Nephilim, Ancient Egypt, the Knights Templar, Cathars etc, Gnosticism and the origins of the Christian faith. The information is arranged into four different sections, in chronological sequence.

I aim to offer a balanced view between science, religion and spirituality in order to demonstrate that these three can and indeed do, complement each other. The book was recently reviewed by The Self Publishing Magazine as the opposite the Richard Dawkins' best selling work The God Delusion, which certainly hasn't harmed sales!

Why did you write the book? I did not set out to write a book at all, but it sort of crept up on me. After my mother died at the end of 1999, I decided to take a year out and study crystal therapy. Towards the end of the course we were asked to write a thesis on a crystal related subject to be presented to the rest of the group. I chose to do mine on crystal skulls, as I was at that time guardian of several of these objects. The more I started to write and research the more links I began to find with other areas of interest, until it became obvious that this was to be a book.

Where did you get your inspiration from? I obtained my inspiration from a number of different sources. Initially of course from my crystal skulls, although most of the skull information has in fact since been taken out. I used them a variety of other sources, including by necessity other peoples works, as well as newspaper and magazine articles, television documentaries and science fiction programmes, and also channelled information, some of which was imparted directly through me and some through friends and acquaintances. I also travelled to France, Scotland and Egypt to gather further information and undertook two short courses via Birkbeck College in London - the history and archaeology of Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia and Human Origins.

How does your book differ from others that are similar? Although it would appear on the surface at least that there are a myriad of other books covering similar ground most of them tend tio concentrate on just one area of the Genesis of Man story, and the majority as well do not have the same degree of spirituality but are written from a more scholarly angle. Because Genesis of Man balances science religion and spirituality it should appeal to all three camps, giving it a much wider potential audience.

Why did you choose POD? I went through the usual submission process with agents and publishers before deciding on the self publishing route. Out of the two options that were open to me, short print run self publishing or POD, POD was by far the most attractive proposition, as it was low cost and it also meant that I did not have to store vast amounts of books and deal with the fulfilment side myself which would have been extremely tedious, not to mention time consuming.

What do you see as the advantages and disadvantages of this method? A significant amount of people still think of it as vanity press, so this is a major hurdle to be overcome. Furthermore, it is difficult to send out advance review copies when the submission process itself takes less than half this time. This means that it takes up to 6 months after publication before you are able to generate much significant publicity. The positive things though far outweigh the negatives, as POD is not only economical and eco friendly, but also the books are never out of print and therefore have a wider window of opportunity through which they can be sold. You also of course have much greater control over the end product and earn more money! A major advantage for me though was the ease by which changes can be made, as after a year it became clear that I needed to change the cover. This would have been well nigh impossible and prohibitively expensive had I chosen the other route.

How did you market your book? During the first year I managed to sell around 120 copies mostly to friends, but also through a few local book shops and by doing talks around the local area. Following some very good reviews in Self Publishing, Nexus and Paradigm Shift and an appearance on US radio, the book was accepted as Gardners Books, the UK's largest wholesaler, as a stocked title, which means that book stores can now order on sale or return. This has made a tremendous difference to sales and since August 2007, my sales have more than doubled.

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome? Definitely my own hesitance and lack of confidence in regard to approaching book sellers. There is though nothing like others confidence in your abilities to get you moving (and also the very real possibility that I would have to return to a job that I hated). I have discovered that I can be very persuasive saleswoman when I need to be, and am also quite good at talking to the media and writing press releases.

What would you say to others considering POD? To research the market thoroughly and understand what it is you need and can realistically expect, and to only consider this as a viable route once you have exhausted other possibilities. Finally read the small print, understand the jargon, don't listen to the hype, and be prepared to work very, very hard!

Where can I get a copy of your book? The book is available to order from any good book shop in the UK or North America by quoting the ISBN. For a full list of stockists see my website, where you can also order signed copies via paypal. Alternatively copies are available from amazon and other online retailers, or direct from the publisher. All the links are displayed on my website as above.